WordPress is an extremely versatile platform which powers millions of websites of all industry verticals, types, niches, and scales. Since content management is at the front and center of the appeal of WordPress as a platform (it’s called Content Management System for a reason after all), it’s no surprise that countless photographers (freelance, entrepreneurs, agencies of all scales from startups to high-end photography) use WordPress websites in combination with some ironclad image theft (hotlink) prevention measures to showcase their photographs and project proudly.

Now, an attractive portfolio on WordPress needs just as understated (yet elegant and feature packed) a theme, but in case you don’t want a special WordPress portfolio theme for your website, you can use a combination of the following plugins to help you create, optimize, manage, and display your photographs with stylish elan.

Here is a list of 10 top WordPress plugins for Photographers.

1. WP Smush

Source: WordPress Plugin Directory

WP Smush

This insanely powerfully and hit plugin created by the well know developer team WPMUDEV is the image optimization tool you can’t do without in a WordPress portfolio website, theme or plugin based. The plugin is capable of optimizing your images with highly advanced lossless compression (Smushing) to reduce the image file sizes to up to 1 MB or smaller (from any standard web size). Brilliant features include JPEG/GIF/PNG compression, auto-compression on upload to the media library, manual smush (compression) in the media library (individual or in groups of 50 at a time), advanced compression stats, and more.

The plugin’s older, more powerful brother WP Smush Pro packs even more enhanced compression features (up to 2 to ten times more lossless compression), bulk compression ‘all’ images in the library, and many more.

It’s a remarkable plugin that’s sure to improve your performance scores and consequently SEO and search result ranks, and User experience in general.

2. Yoast SEO

Source: WordPress Plugin Directory

Yoast SEO

This SEO suite/ plugin is a classic. Every single WordPress user and their mother know about WordPress SEO by Yoast. Joost de Valk is a remarkably awesome developer indeed.

Yoast SEO is notable in this photographer specific WordPress plugin list because of its special image optimization features and open graph meta data (used by Facebook, Google+, Instagram and all major social media platforms to display shared content / pages properly). Using the plugin, you can let your site visitors share just your portfolio images right from the page, which will gradually culminate in more fame and traffic from social channels (and followers/ likers).
Use this plugin well.

3. W3 Total Cache

Source: WordPress Plugin Directory

W3 Total Cache

This caching plugin is the only hailed wide and far as the only performance optimization plugin you need for any WordPress website. It really is that amazing.

Since you are going to be dealing with a whole bucket load (and then some) quantities of image and media uploads, making sure that your portfolio website and all the pictures retain high-def quality yet still load super quickly becomes a priority. With W3 Total Cache, you can take care of performance issues with features like browser caching, progressive rendering (above the fold page area loads first to give an illusion of performance and keep the viewer engaged) and easy integration with 3rd party Content Delivery networks like MaxCDN, KeyCDN, etc.

Technical performance optimization features that go beyond image rendering (and lazy loading) include compression, minification, and caching of all markup (HTML), JavaScript, and CSS stylesheets.

This plugin is an absolute must, so make sure you get it set up early in the game to keep your WordPress website on the right side of the performance scale.

4. Envira Gallery

Source: Envira Gallery

envira gallery

Envira Gallery is one of the most well known, highly trusted and well-rated portfolio/ gallery plugins for WordPress websites. The interface (backend) is amazing where you can easily and without hassle, use the plugin to create highly responsive picture galleries. The plugin is performance optimized, has great animations and transitions, responds equally well on all device sizes and browsers, and even helps your pictures get indexed in search engines thanks to its built in SEO-optimization. The plugin will let you add your metadata (tags and other image information) for your individual pictures and entire galleries so it is easier to crawl and index for the search bots.

It’s also compatible with almost every major SEO suite (WordPress SEO by Yoast, All in One SEO pack etc.) and image performance optimization plugins (WP Smush.it and EWWW Image Optimizer).

5. Soliloquy

Source: Soliloquy


Soliloquy is a premium responsive slider plugin, and there’s a reason why you will absolutely love it.

The simple, easy to use slider plugin looks extremely sophisticated and packs some remarkably smart features like separate mobile specific assets, easy import/ export of slider images and related images metadata, a special Soliloquy slider post type for easy slider placement anywhere on the page, unlimited sliders (per page or global regardless), multisite compatibility, and amazing AJAX slider actions (smoother slider transitions and effects).

The slider operates on dynamic asynchronous image loading (AJAX power) which lets your images load brutally fast on all end user devices and browsers. It integrates right into WordPress admin dashboard, and you’re using Soliloquy features from within the WordPress interface to create, edit, and manage sliders as well as add image tags, metadata, and ALT tags up on slider image upload.

6. Image Widget

Source: WordPress Plugin Directory

Image Widget

WordPress widgets are cute, but not exactly what you’d call ‘packed with awesome features’. The Image widget, on the other hand, is a widget plugin which will showcase a widget as placed in a sidebar (by you) to display select images on your WordPress website front end.

All you have to do is drag and drop an image from either your WordPress media library or browse one from your current device for upload. Then you can select the image you want to display (from a directory on your device or from the library on WordPress) and place the widget in the sidebar of your choice. You can place as many Image widgets as you want, so portfolio owners with widgetized/ unlimited sidebar themes will love this simple, lightweight widget.

7. Regenerate Thumbnails

Source: WordPress Plugin Directory

Thumbnails are WordPress’ one way of letting you save your images in smaller than upload sizes. Depending on your theme, you may have various image thumbnail sizes, but when you add a new theme, it often happens that thumbnails for previous images are not regenerated in the new sizes, making them look all stretched out or simply unavailable for erstwhile available image thumbnails.

Regenerate thumbnails is a WordPress plugin that solves this issue in a jiffy. The plugin regenerates your image thumbnails and reloads them based on your current theme thumbnail sizes and specifications. The plugin is basic, and gives you three options for regenerating thumbnails based on number of image uploads (regenerate all images, single image, or specified (selected) images).

8. Click to Tweet

Source: WordPress Plugin Directory

Click To Tweet

Another social share button (without making everything tacky) is Click to Tweet, which works very nicely for performance optimized, lightweight WordPress portfolio websites for photographers.

The plugin adds a Click to Tweet button over your photographs which can configured to appear in a certain position and customized with CSS snippets. The plugin will also work on image descriptions, and let your visitors share images + descriptions with a single click or tap.

9. Pinterest Pin It Button For Images

Source: WordPress Plugin Directory

Pinterest Pin It Button For Images

Pinterest is a photographer’s/ photo lover’s heaven, and you absolutely must be present on this social media platform to share your work and thoughts with your fans and followers.

Since most social sharing buttons plugins are rather weighty (with chunky buttons for so many social platforms that you have no idea half of them even existed in the first place), the Pinterest Pin It Button for Images helps keep things simple and sophisticated (true style doesn’t need to be loud or tacky). It adds a simple Pinterest share button in an overlay on your images which shares your images (and links back to your site).

10. Simply Instagram

Source: WordPress Plugin Directory

Simply Instagram

When Pinterest filled up with graphic designers, all the photographer residents of Pinterest made Instagram their new paradise. And you need to have a presence on this for your WordPress website.

The Simply Instagram plugin isn’t a social sharing plugin for your site visitors. Instead it’s an Instagram sharing plugin for you – the plugin lets you share select photos and entire streams from your connected Instagram profile on your WordPress portfolio website.

The plugin works with a shortcode that can be added within the post, pages, sidebars, and other widgets to display the Instagram photos/ steams / etc. anywhere on your WordPress website.


These 10 plugins, used together, are sure to make your Photography portfolio WordPress website an instant hit on the internet.


Author Bio: Lucy Barret is a web developer working for HireWPGeeks Ltd. She is an expert of converting HTML website to responsive WordPress theme and has a team of expert developers to assist her in every project. Follow her company, HireWPGeeks on Facebook.